Six Years of Running My Personal Growth and Travel Blog On My Canvas
The past six years have been important to me in many ways. In them, I not only wrote on this blog and brought it to where it is today: an infinite source of inspiration, hope, and ideas for me and, hopefully, a peaceful, energetic, and positive place for others.
But this was the time in which I wrote full-time.
I launched the blog, put myself as a Freelance writer on LinkedIn, read every evening, researched marketing tactics, scheduled posts on social media, sent emails to bloggers, and began penning down everything I wanted to write. Stories, the family pressure about getting married, life lessons, some travel journeys, poems, and ideas and inspirations all started becoming drafts on my Mac.
How has the path looked like so far?
Easy? No way.
Challenging? Oh, yeah.
Extremely occupying? Absolutely yes.
I want to talk about the learnings from my blogging journey but I also want to share my biggest challenges and joys.
When I speak about the blog, I mean this life that I have led as a self-declared writer, blogger, reader, traveler, job quitter, black sheep of the family, the unmarried for the longest time, and stubborn woman who is said to live by her whims and fancies and is often sentimental. I will pick up details from her journey and what she found on this path she decided to tread upon without encouragement, push, or support from anyone.
Learnings From Six Years of Blogging
- Blogging as a profession is still not clearly defined in the world. Every geography, generation, and gentleman interprets a blogger differently. What matters is how I define a blogger and how I think of myself as one.
In my case, having a blog meant being able to put out learnings, experiences, and ideas on the platform without having to ask anyone for permission.
Having said that, running a blog is a huge responsibility. You can’t put out your opinion just because it’s yours and you think you are right. You are wrong more often than you know.
I learn, read, see, observe, listen, and undo a lot. Becoming a blogger or a writer, especially for me as I write about experience and subjective learning, is also about making a promise to become a better human being.
I keep the doors to change open.
When I think of it, the promise to be better sounds like a stepping stone on every professional journey.
2. Being a blogger means you don’t know what might come your way.
An unexpected, unknown path could be pretty scary for most. I was frightened, too. But more often than not, if I say whatever it is I’ll deal with it and when I really mean it, I make it through.
Some surprises are amazing—someone’s encouraging email about how your words changed their day.
Some are not—your website slowing down and losing most readers in a couple of days.
But if you are in it—by being in it, I mean not just here for a year or two and quitting if things don’t work out, as most marketing videos suggest. I mean if you are in it for as long as it takes, the unexpected becomes the go-to way.
Of course, you don’t know what to anticipate. With time, however, you begin to trust that good things come if you give everything.
It was one-way for me always.
For you, too?
3. You are always thinking about your blog.
Blogging is ceaseless work for which the entire world is the ingredient. You can make as much as you like, or can, from this constant source of input reaching inside you through your every pore.
How much you make of it doesn’t matter. How much you simplify it, matters.
Ten posts or two, both are okay as long as you say things you truly felt. What you genuinely feel or have concluded without biases will hold true even after a hundred years.
You might not be writing twenty-four hours or every day or every month.
But your role as a writer and blogger doesn’t stop. You are learning from the world every minute, and that is why I said, blogging is about becoming a better human being, which also entails how well you understand the world going around you. The more you understand it, the better you would behave with it, and the finer you would write about it. Vice-versa holds as well.
The power to connect various concepts and themes is what makes most professionals better at their jobs. An engineer can do wonders if she can estimate the upcoming needs of people, a painter can paint better by reading more, and a lawyer may draw tactics from a 16th-century war.
The more effectively a writer can connect ideas the stronger her writing gets, much like a soup simmered with great ingredients for the right amount of time.
The work never pauses.
4. In such an unpredictable world, especially for someone like me who jumped into writing without much literary background or contacts, constant support has proven to be a lifesaver.
Though I have been fierce, didn’t compromise, and faced every challenge that came my way, the entire process of changing careers and starting on my own against my family took a toll on me. I became distrustful and defensive and always tried to prove myself.
Along came my partner who stood like a deodar tree against every wind, storm, and rain. His roots went so deep and gripped onto the earth so tightly, that not only I dug in deeper, too, but I also leaned against him whenever I suspected to fall.
In taking support from him, and hopefully, providing him strength as well, I learned that leaning against each other doesn’t make us weak, but accepting our need to depend shows we are strong and wise enough to know that one does better with one’s own.
Even trees hold hands under the ground.
What is it with to be able to stand alone all the time?
5. I do this because I have love and hope for the world.
I love everything about our existence and am amazed by the world every moment. How come we are here and what is all this! This amazement is what made me write in the first place, honestly.
And I do believe that the secret behind being interested in doing good work and staying happy lies in being curious about the world and wanting to know more. Our care for the universe shows in every moment in how we behave with it, our loved ones, and ourselves.
“Yesterday, I was sad, tomorrow I may be sad again, but today I know that I am happy. I want to live on and on, delighting like a pagan in all that is physical; and I know that this one lifetime, however long, cannot satisfy my heart.”
I couldn’t be more excited to be here.
6. Writing skills come at last. You acquire them on the way. And you will, if you have the heart for the work.
Every time I start an article or a blog piece, I feel it’s impossible to finish it, to give it any meaning. What could possibly become of my thoughts, just words on paper, things I scribbled one after another?
Sometimes my knees still knock and my hands tremble while I am writing something I have to publish soon. My stomach churns. There are knots in my chest. My breath becomes shallow, and I have to remind myself to breathe, smile, write. That it will be all good. It has been before, every time. All I have to do is write how I feel and edit and be honest.
This impossible task of finishing an article has been achieved close to two fifty times by now. And I will do this many more times in the coming years.
Of course, I didn’t know much about writing when I started. Except that I had no other option except to try to do my best and learn on the go. And so I have been learning.
Now I have my own collection of writing tips that have helped me write better and those I share with new writers.
I agree with Ruskin Bond when he says—“No, we don’t become writers in schools of creative writing. We become writers before we learn to write. The rest is simply learning how to put it all together.”
As a writer, the thing that has helped me the most is to stop aiming for perfection. I give as much as I can, and then I put out my work and move on. That is all there is to do.
Challenges of Being a Blogger
Constantly judging your output, jealousy, and money are only small issues outside what I have mentioned above. I still don’t have a fixed monthly income from my blog. Numbers go up and down. But I have given myself ten years, during which in addition to the blog I earn from freelance writing and other miscellaneous things.
After those ten years,
“Well, I’m 34 now. If I don’t make it by the time I’m 60, I’m just going to give myself 10 more years.”
― Charles Bukowski
Joys as a Blogger
Completing a big project or seeing a blog post come to its narrative are moments that are blessed, that are just mine, that are wild.
What are some of your biggest leanings and joys from your professional life?
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